No announcement yet.

Controlling Grain Dust

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Controlling Grain Dust

    Good Day.

    We are in the process of getting our 3BBL brewhouse up and running, and after a few batches we haven't come up with a good way to control our grain dust. We are buying precrushed grain (how long is the shelf life on precrushed? I've heard a few differing opinions), and manually dumping our grain bags in until we fill the Tun. The issue that we are having is when we are dumping our precrushed grain into the tun, the dust kicks back, and coats everything with a think layer of dust. We know this is a huge issue when it comes to bacteria, so we would like to get this under control sooner than later. We have tried fans, vacuums, and were considering using a mist blanket to prevent the dust from coming back up into the brewhouse area.

    Before we waste too much more time, does anyone have any advice of how we can cheaply control this?

    Thanks in advance,

    Travis Prueter
    Big Lake Brewing

  • #2
    I am not sure on the shelf life of pre-crushed grains, but I can tell you that it will incorporate more oxygen into your beer. (Bad). We will mill in directly to avoid any oxidation of the grains prior to mashing. We also keep our bags closed and pallets wrapped whenever possible. This may seem like overkill, and probably is, however we make great beer! You can really see the degradation of the malts when you get some rauch malt. The smokey aroma and flavor will dissipate more quickly from exposure to oxygen.

    To your question at hand, I would personally get some cheap plastic, thin stainless, or thin copper sheets. Roll any of them into a funnel shape and tape them. Set the new funnel into the mash in opening. Keep the funnel with grains in it, and push it down to seal around the grain in hole. This should only allow the grains to feed in and prevent the dust from wafting out (at least till the very end). If you have a very large mash tun opening, I would make a cheap hourglass shaped funnel. One end for the mash vessel and one as a grain hopper.
    The dust is often fine grains, so it pays to keep it in your mash!



    • #3
      I would try to rig up a basic grist hydrator - just a stainless or copper coil with holes or slits that wet the grain as it enters the tun. Ideally you'd feed that with an auger, but a basic hopper like OneMoreBrewer suggested would probably work well. You can invert a sack of malt into a 30 gal kitchen trash can and it will more or less seal around the edges.

      As far as shelf life, the simple (but unhelpful) answer is to use it as quickly as possible. Unless you're blessed with abundant storage space, I'd assume you're ordering malt every few months, and I would say that's totally reasonable. Try to avoid storing open sacks if at all possible.

      Originally posted by OneMoreBrewer View Post
      I am not sure on the shelf life of pre-crushed grains, but I can tell you that it will incorporate more oxygen into your beer.
      I don't think that's correct. Regardless of when the malt is crushed, at a factory or in the brewhouse, air will immediately fill in all the free space. Crushed malt will oxidize more quickly, which may or may not be a problem, but that has no effect on oxygen levels in the beer.
      Sent from my Microsoft Bob

      Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own. |